Quito – Officials from the Quito Stock Exchange, the Ministry of Environment and the Internal Revenue System met in late July to strengthen the technical capacities of these institutions to link financial products such as green bonds with tax incentives. This alliance seeks to protect and conserve the environment.
The issuance of green bonds – for the first time in Ecuador – will contribute to biodiversity conservation through corporate investments and financing in climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, supporting economic resources that will result in the decarbonization of the economy, which in parallel benefit biodiversity conservation.
The allocation of green bonds will contribute to the National Biodiversity Strategy, in which there are several financing gaps. One of the financial solutions defined in the National Strategy is the issuance of securities or bonds that will seek to implement actions in favour of biodiversity. The strategic alliance generates between the Ministry and the Stock Exchange will provide the private sector with a new financial resource and promote the generation of green credits that will focus on the green economy.
BIOFIN has been a key driver of the strategic alliance as part of the innovative solutions that will foster resource mobilization from the private sector as part of the Biodiversity Finance Plan in the country.
Monica Andrade, Head of the Environment and Energy Area of UNDP said, the World Bank estimates that, between 2015 and 2030, it is necessary to invest USD 93 billion in climate-resilient and low-carbon infrastructure globally, mainly in developing and middle-income countries like Ecuador.
“In addition, in terms of loss of biodiversity, the UN estimates that between 150 and 200 species become extinct every 24 hours,” she said.
“Within this framework, looking to contribute towards the sustainable development of the country, UNDP has been working on initiatives such as BIOFIN, which seeks to generate financial solutions for the protection and conservation of biodiversity in Ecuador. In this framework, BIOFIN was able to create interagency actions as this meeting between the Quito Stock Exchange and the Ministry of Environment,” said Andrade during the opening of the event.
Paul McEvoy, General Manager of the Quito Stock Exchange stressed that "green bonds represent a mechanism capable of ensuring that resources are used for a common purpose that positively impacts the environment," he said.
"The Stock Exchange demonstrates its environmental commitment by being part of the Global Compact as one of the 90 exchanges in the world that works in the generation of sustainable stock products," he added.
During the event, participants were able to identify the opportunities that exist in the stock market for financing the lines of action on climate change and biodiversity conservation in the country.
Stephanie Ávalos, Undersecretary of Climate Change in Ecuador, said that Ecuador is a country vulnerable to the effects of climate change and will combat them through its Nationally Determined Contribution.
“The NDC defines the lines of action that the country will implement by 2025 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to its adverse effects. These actions can only be carried out by the private sector and international cooperation,” she said.
The workshop ended with the commitment to sign a Framework Agreement for Interagency Cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and the Stock Exchange in August, with a view to the first issuance of green bonds in the country of around USD 150 million.
Photo by Andy Teucher on Flickr https://flic.kr/p/hGhJuo